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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cont.)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

Diagnosing CFS requires ruling out other causes of chronic persistent fatigue, including a stressful lifestyle, cancer, or other illness such as adrenal or thyroid disorders, HIV, or AIDS. Since there are no laboratory tests that specifically make the diagnosis of CFS, the diagnosis is based on symptoms. People with CFS experience the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue: People with CFS have long-term fatigue (lasting longer than 6 months to a year) that cannot be explained by other diseases. People with CFS may have had a previous infection. They are tired and "run down" during the infection, and the fatigue continues after the person has recovered from the illness.
  • Cognitive difficulties: A typical complaint of people with CFS is that they have problems with short-term memory but not long-term memory. People with CFS may have problems finding or saying a particular word during normal speech (called dysnomia or verbal dyslexia).
  • Postexertional fatigue: Postexertional fatigue may also be a problem for people with CFS. They are excessively tired after doing normal activities that were not difficult in the past.
  • Fatigue after sleep: People with CFS also complain of fatigue even after long periods of rest or sleep. They do not feel refreshed after sleeping.
  • Depression: People with CFS may become depressed because of difficulties performing at work or home, but depression does not cause CFS.
  • Other symptoms that may be seen include headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and even mild fever.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome »

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder of unknown etiology that probably has an infectious basis.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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